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Free time at the Light House
Some of you have asked what the children here do in their spare time, so I took my camera with me on a tour of the Light House. The children were busy doing chores and relaxing after finishing their morning school lessons, both at the Centre and those who attend the nearby State school. Here are some of the things I saw.

"Always chores to be done"
15 year old Gantchimeg washes the floor. All the children take turns to do simple cleaning and vegetable preparing chores around the centre. Note the smiling face of the onlooker, glad it's not his turn. All children are expected and do keep their bed and space clean and tidy.
"Pehd"
This is the sound and the name that is made as each player blows with force to try and flip the flattened bottle cap. This is just one of the moves in this varied game. Lining them up in the palm of the hand, throwing them up and trying to catch them all in one swoop is another move. Naranbatt, 17, 'pehd's' as he tries to flip his cap. Competitor Munkhzul, 16, watches closely. Once again there is always an interested audience around
"Card Sharps"
Always interested in who's got the best hand. Altungbatt 13 and Oyunchimeg 15, play one of the variety of card games they know. Cards was one way they passed the time when they lived in the tunnels under the streets as it can be played in limited space but of course they had to have light and candles were used at night.
"Mates"
Tulga,14, Naranbaatar, 16, Jargolbaatar, 14, Erdenebaatar, 12, in front on bed in boys' room. With 40 plus children in Lighthouse 1 there is always someone to share a game or just 'hang out' with.
"More Mates"
Yondongugnee 14, from Lighthouse 3. Erdenepurev 15, Naranbaatar,17, Myagmarsuren 13. Always wanting their pictures taken. This is a complete turnaround from when we first encounter them on the streets where they will show hostility and turn their backs to us. We are pleased to see that more and more of the children from the other 2 centres are visiting and learning to mix and socialise together. For a start there was a certain amount of hostile behaviour displayed between groups. Now they are feeling secure and loved they are able to relax and are learning to trust.
"Talented children"
Some of the children attend after school arts and craft courses. Munkhzul,16, is showing great artistic talent and enjoys painting Mongolian countryside scenes. Here he is displaying his latest creation, a statue in plasticine called "Madonna and Child." You will note that just as in our culture some names are shared by both girls and boys - one of our (female) cooks, and one of our resident girls are both also called Munkhzul.